Engagement Party Etiquette: A Guide For A Joyful Celebration

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An engagement party is a celebration of the commitment and love between two people. It is a time for friends and family to come together, share their excitement, and offer their congratulations. To make the most of this special occasion, it’s important to observe proper engagement party etiquette. In this article, Viva Wedding Photography‘ll explore the key aspects of engagement etiquette to help you plan a memorable event.

What Is An Engagement Party?

Engagement Party
Engagement Party

An engagement party is a pre-wedding celebration that marks the beginning of a couple’s journey toward matrimony. It’s a moment for the happy couple to tell their loved ones the news, and for those loved ones to gather to rejoice with them. Engagement parties can take many forms, from a casual gathering at a local bar to a formal dinner party, and can be held a few months after the engagement and before the wedding.

Some Questions About Engagement Party Etiquette You Should Be Clear

1. When Is The Right Time To Have An Engagement Party?

Time To Throw An Engagement Party
Engagement Party Protocol – Proper Time To Throw The Party

Typically held a few months after the proposal, the engagement party marks a transitional period between the joy of being newly engaged and the stress of beginning wedding preparations. Sending out invites for the celebration a few months following the engagement will ensure that visitors have the time to make travel plans (one month for local friends, six weeks for those further away).

2. Who Will Be Throwing The Engagement Party?

Engagement Party Etiquette About The Host Of Party
Engagement Party Etiquette About The Host Of The Party

Although the parents of the bride traditionally throw the engagement party, friends and other family members of the couple are free to do so as well. It’s possible the couple will throw multiple parties, with each one catering to different groups of guests. It is customary to invite the bride’s parents to the first engagement party if more than one will be held.

3. Is it appropriate to have a formal or informal engagement party?

Engagement Party Edicate - Decide The Formal Of The Party
Engagement Party Edicate – Decide The Formal Of The Party

The bride’s family traditionally hosts engagement parties, which consist of a cocktail hour. You may make it as big or tiny, formal or casual, as you choose these days!

The goal of any host is to provide a party that everyone will remember, but it’s important to not steal the spotlight from the main attraction. Aim to make the engagement party atmosphere unique while staying true to your personal style.

If you and your guests prefer more formal gatherings, a barbecue can be too much of a forced fit. Set apart a black-tie event with a sit-on-the-floor, banquet engagement bash; preview a semiformal midday wedding with a fancy cocktail party (ties optional); and counteract a vacation wedding with a home-cooked dinner party, if your guests are up for it.

Think about their taste, as the original intent of the engagement party etiquette tradition was to begin easing tensions between the two sets of relatives. An unexpected picnic in the parks might not be the best place to get to know each other if one of you comes from a very traditional family. They may feel uneasy about joining you and all your pals for a five-course, sit-down meal. Get them to relax by inviting as many of their supporters as you can.

4. Who Will Be Invited To Your Engagement Party?

Engagement Party Etiquette About The Guest List
Engagement Party Protocol About The Guest List

Guests who were invited to the engagement ceremony are expected to be included in the wedding invitation list. Even so, it’s probable that fewer people will be invited. The goal is usually to have a smaller, more personal gathering than the wedding itself.

However, times have changed, and this method is no longer the sole one that is considered valid. Because many couples today opt for exclusive celebrations or exotic locales for their nuptials, the guests at the engagement party may include folks who were not invited to the wedding itself. Even if not everyone from each family can make it to a typical celebration (such as the one thrown by the bride’s parents), it is still polite to extend invitations to each other.

5. How Might The Happy Couple Best Greet Their Party Guests?

Engagement Party Etiquette About Greeting Guests
Engagement Party Etiquette About Greeting Guests

There will be a lot of people who want to talk to the bride and groom, so make sure the groom and bride (and their parents) have a place to do so when visitors arrive.

>>> Read more: Second Wedding Etiquette: A Guide For A Graceful Celebration

6. The Toasts At An Engagement Party: How To Set Them Up?

Engagement Party Edicate About The Toast At The Party
Engagement Party Edicate About The Toast At The Party

One other thing to think about once the celebration has begun is the toasts. There is no ambiguity about who should propose a toast at an engagement party held by the bride’s parents; traditionally, it is the bride’s father.

The groom-to-be then makes a toast to his soon-to-be bride, her parents, and finally to his own. It goes without saying that anyone can propose a toast at any moment during a social gathering organized by friends. The newlyweds, of course, will also wish to address the crowd before the party winds down.

7. Do People Have To Bring Presents To An Engagement Party?

Engagement Party Protocol About Gift-Giving
Engagement Party Protocol About Gift-Giving

Some guests will show up to the party with presents even though it is not the norm of engagement party etiquette. There’s no shame in giving in to this urge; it’s intrinsic to the joyous spirit of events like weddings and celebrations.

To keep this in mind, the pair may choose to put together a rough draft of their wedding register wish list, which their parents may then share with any eager gift-givers in their midst. Guests at a casual party hosted by friends are not likely to bring much more than a wine bottle and some flowers, the standard party favors.

8. Should We Give Gifts To The Hosts Of The Engagement Party?

Engagement Party Etiquette About Gifts For The Host
Engagement Party Etiquette About Gifts For The Host

There’s nothing like a heartfelt handwritten card to demonstrate how much you appreciate your engagement party host. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to show your appreciation with a tiny token of monetary value, albeit nothing extravagant. Gifts for the host that can match the magnitude of the celebration, like concert tickets or a favorite bottle of Champagne, are kind gestures that the bride and groom might wish to consider.

9. Is It Necessary To Send Invitations To An Engagement Party?

Engagement Party Protocol About Sending Invitations
Engagement Party Protocol About Sending Invitations

You (or whoever is throwing the celebration) should send out formal engagement party invites. You may go for a more serious tone with your invitations if you prefer, but you’re also free to go for something lighthearted and casual if that’s more your style. Put more thought into it than you would a careless text or email.

Your engagement party invites don’t have to coordinate with the rest of your wedding stationery if you haven’t yet decided on a color scheme or even a wedding date.

When sending out invitations, don’t forget to include a link to your wedding website along with the usual party details (day, time, venue, and RSVP information). To that end, before you send out invites, make sure your website is mostly complete.

If your engagement party guests are interested in sending or bringing you a present, sharing the link to your wedding registry on your own website is the most convenient option for them. Having only a link to your register, some images, and the narrative of how you proposed will suffice for now is much more than enough content to keep visitors interested.

10. For An Engagement Party, What Should The Guests Wear?

Engagement Party Etiquette About Guests' Outfit
Engagement Party Etiquette About Guests’ Outfit

When left to their own devices, visitors will dress more casually for an afternoon event and more formally for a 7 p.m. or later evening event. One guaranteed approach to have everyone show up looking their best is to include a dress code on the invitation or have the information about outfits guests spread by word of mouth.

Also, don’t discount the power of a compelling concept. There is a growing trend for themed engagement parties, and you wouldn’t want Aunt Susie to show up in her beloved LBD while everyone else is wearing scrunchies from the ’90s theme.

11. What Should The Engaged Couple Wear To The Party?

Engagement Party Edicate About Engaged Couple's Outfit
Engagement Party Edicate About Engaged Couple’s Outfit

What to wear is up to you and your host’s discretion. If you are planning a garden party for the spring, a bridesmaid dress with eyelets is a great choice. Putting together a meal for an upcoming dinner party? A chic and modern jumpsuit is ideal.

Gentlemen, keep in mind the season and the hour. The evening may call for a darker, slimmer, and more traditional suit, whereas the daytime, may call for a lighter-colored suit (tie optional).

>>> Further reading:

An engagement party is a special occasion that marks the start of a couple’s journey toward matrimony. By observing proper engagement party etiquette, you and your guests can ensure that the event runs smoothly and everyone has a good time. Viva Wedding Photography hopes that our guide about this occasion will help you easily when planning your engagement party.

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